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REVIEW: 7866 12V Remote Controlled Road Crossing


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#1 Brickaroo

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 09:36 AM

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Name: Remote Controlled Road Crossing
Set No.: 7866
Theme: LEGO / SYSTEM / Trains / 12v / Train Set
Year: 1983
Pieces: 189
Minifigs: 1
Price (when it was in stores): Not sure   :sceptic:  
Price nowadays: USD $200 minimum for used, $400+ new

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Hi all, as this is my first review I hope I don't mess it up too much. Feel free to critique!

I've decided to review one of my favourite sets of all time, the 12V Remote Controlled Crossing. The reason this is one of my favourites? The amazing parts included! Motors, red lights, flashing units, boom gates and German style crossing signs! Truly rare pieces that were only ever made once for this particular set.

I managed to get a new set not more than 3 months ago so it is in brilliant condition
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I loved the old sets because they allowed us a tease when opening the flap to show us all of the cool parts inside
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The entire contents of the new set. They really did put a lot of effort into the packaging back then!
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Every part laid out for all to see
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These are the rare parts mentioned earlier. You will find most of them selling for a very high price on Bricklink, four of them were only made for this set. I'll explain what they all are as we go through the building process
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The instruction manual, one of the few from that era that didn't offer an alternate build even though the back of the box features a rather cool small pedestrian/bike crossing
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First step. The cables for the lights get tucked in underneath all the parts thanks to some gaps created in the sleepers. Wondering what those little black things are?
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Well they're the only red lighting bricks that Lego ever produced! For those that haven't seen a 4.5v/12v lighting brick before, yes the light can shine through the bottom and the front. "Why" you ask?
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This is why! Now are you wondering what that lighting brick has been plugged into?
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The German styled rail crossing warning sign! The light shines through a small hole in the middle. We'll see this in work later on
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The real life version, almost an exact replica in the Lego world  :thumbup:
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The bracket that the sign attaches to also includes a small notch that allows for the cable to neatly tuck below the sign
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The gaps in the sleepers seen here are used to ensure the cables are neatly tucked under the build
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Ahhh neatness, perfect for an anal retentive like myself
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Here we see the 12V motor used to control not only the boom gates in this set, but also for the track switch and de-coupling sets from the 12V era
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The motor sits over the grey plates to allow for the cable to tuck in under it neatly
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Now this step may seem boring, but there's a specific reason I've included it.
People with this set please read: If you've been driven crazy by the fact that the boom gates will sometimes end up with one on an angle and the other straight up, here's why: the way the gear is placed on the motor will make a slight difference to the way the boom gate lines up. If you've been having this issue (as I was until yesterday when I took these pictures and decided to play around with it) rotate the position of the gear on the motor by taking it off and turning it a quarter of the way around (not on the boom gate) to make them match up. It's always nice to have one set of matching angled gates than two different ones leaving one looking damaged!
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Now we'll place the rest of the sleepers and the tracks into place, covering up the cables underneath and allowing our train a way to cross the road below  :thumbup:
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The sloped brick allows road vehicles to pass over ("Thanks Captain Obvious" I hear you yell!  :laugh: )
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The black bricks over the road allow for the boom gates to come to a flat rest when down
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The conducting rails are now in place to deliver power to our 12V engines
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The boom gate construction made up of a tecnhic pin, brick and gear as well as the gate itself and a weighted counterweight that slots onto the technic pin
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Here we see the boom gate placed on the motor with the gears linked into each other to allow for the gate to be remotely controlled
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This funny looking thing is the 12V flashing unit, this brick makes our red warning light flash! Not like the 9V era fast light flash, but a slow flash like a real life crossing signal works (on another note, yes I'm a nail biter. I can't help it, it comes with the territory of being a football fan of all codes! Hawks + Aston Villa + Melbourne Victory  :thumbup: )
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The other end of the cable leading from the flashing unit plugs into the cable that connects the two lights to each other, ensuring the flashing unit sits between the power source and the lights to make them flash  :grin:
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The flashing unit is now plugged into the remote control
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There are two sets of connectors for cables on this switch, with the other being used to control the gates
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The other end plugs into the cable attached to the motors like so
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Time to build the control tower so our little man can have something to do
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It sits nicely on our 4 supports and steps
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It might get a bit cold and windy in there so let's give our man an enclosed space to work in
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A roof over his head and he's now a happy chappy  :grin:
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So we'll now need something to control this fantastic set, the 12V transformer/controller will do the trick
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The remote control connects to the 12V transformer like so, providing power to the set
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And here we see the completed set in all of its glory
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And the lights now operating. Looks, they're red!  :sweet:
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Now I'd be a cruel man if I wrote this review up about some railway crossing with flashing lights and operational boom gates without showing everyone that doesn't own one how it works, so here you all go! Priceless  :cry_happy:


Rating:


Based on design, minifigs, playability, price, and parts:

Design: 10/10, the fact that this set hides all of it's cabling so neatly and looks beautifully accurate to a crossing you would see in real life gets it a perfect vote from me! This is especially true considering it comes with a double-rail setup.

Minifigs: 1/10. 1 minifig, 1 star rating. I'm not going to bother adding this into the total rating!  :laugh:

Playability: 11/10. I don't really think I need to explain this too much, you can press a button and watch the thing light up and work every time a train passes through it! It also allows for two trains to pass making it just that much more playable.

Price: 8/10. Original price? No idea. Current price for a used set is about $200 USD and upwards of $400 USD for a new one. Considering the rarity of the parts, the functions and the playability of the set I'd personally be happy to fork out for it to complete my 12V collection.

Parts: 11/10, 4 unique parts to this set, 2 motors, 2 red lights, a flashing unit, a remote control, boom gates, black counterweights, German styled crossing signals, a control tower and a road baseplate. You can't really ask for much more in a rail crossing set. Best ever!  :thumbup:

Overall: 40/40, with the extra votes going to the parts and playability to get it perfect. Perhaps I'm a bit biased but it's undoubtedly the most playable rail crossing set Lego has ever produced and included the best parts of them all!  :tongue:


Thanks for reading and looking, I hope you enjoyed the review.  :classic:

(on another note, I haven't a clue how to add a voting list. Can someone please help me out with that?  :wacko:)
Assumption is the mother of all **** ups.
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#2 allanp

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 10:02 AM

That was a great review, nice one  :classic:

This set is great, me being a tech head I love all those working features. It even comes with two motors and those rare pieces are awesome. I do miss the old school packaging where you could lift the lid and it's such a tease to see all those shiney new pieces, especially the very important pieces (VIPs?) in the special parts tray.

Excellent review.
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#3 AFOL12v

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 10:11 AM

What a great review. I love the idea of a video. I have several sets placed in my town, 5 to be correct.

#4 Brickaroo

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 10:27 AM

Sorry, I forgot my ratings.  *huh*

Just popped them in now.  :grin:
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#5 hoeij

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 03:23 PM

The 7866 12V Remote Controlled Road Crossing is my most wanted 12V set.  It would be awesome to have this at our local trainshow.

The only problem is that all my remote-controlled switches are blue 12V, which means I have to use the blue 12V transformer, but all remote controlled items from the gray 12V area (including the road crossing) connect only to the gray 12V transformer.

I have a question on the gray 12V transformer,  is its voltage regulated?  Or, does the voltage drop when you draw more amps?

The blue transformer acts as though it has an internal resistance of about 10 Ohm, which means that if you pull an additional 250 mAmps (i.e. if you let a second train run) then the voltage on the track drops by about 2.5 Volts  (the problem with that is when the second train stops, then the one that's still going gets 2.5 additional volts, and may run faster than desired).  Another consequence of a non-regulated power supply is that when one train goes through a curve, then the voltage on the track becomes lower, and so both trains slow down.

Edited by hoeij, 01 September 2010 - 03:25 PM.


#6 AFOL12v

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 04:36 PM

View Posthoeij, on 01 September 2010 - 03:23 PM, said:

I have a question on the gray 12V transformer,  is its voltage regulated?  Or, does the voltage drop when you draw more amps?
Voltage will drop when you let run more than one trains and when the train goes more away form the connecting point of the transformer. I guess, it must almost the same as the blue area. You can solve it, to connect more transformers at one track.

For my layout I use 4 transformers. 1 is used to feed all remotecontrollers and 3 are used to give the trains power.
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Edited by AFOL12v, 01 September 2010 - 04:37 PM.


#7 hoeij

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 06:54 PM

View PostAFOL12v, on 01 September 2010 - 04:36 PM, said:

Voltage will drop when you let run more than one trains and when the train goes more away form the connecting point of the transformer. I guess, it must almost the same as the blue area. You can solve it, to connect more transformers at one track.

For my layout I use 4 transformers. 1 is used to feed all remotecontrollers and 3 are used to give the trains power.
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Click on pic to get a bigger one

The voltage drop over a long track is quite small though.  The loop in my layout was about 160 track pieces long, so if you're on the other side, you're 80 track lengths away from the power supply (note: there are two paths for the electricity so 80 length would correspond to 40 if the track were not a loop).

This added (very imprecise measurement) between 1-2 Ohm, a small number compared to the 10 Ohm I already got from the transformer.  Typically there were two or three trains running on the same loop. Most trains have 1 motor, only the 12 feet long cargo train has two motors.  When that train stops, the voltage on the track goes up by 5 Volt, so you have to pay attention to the controller to make sure that the still-moving train doesn't go too fast.

Note that on this large track you have to be careful that every track piece makes a good electrical connection.  With one bad connection, the distance between the train and the power supply can go up from 80 to 160 track pieces, and since the current now goes in only one way, you can't divide that number by 2.  That means that the total resistance can go up a factor 4 which means a significant slow-down on some parts of the track.  To make sure to have a good connection, check that the middle rail have friction on both sides when you slide it into the next middle rail.  If not, use a tool to make a gentle squeeze on the female connector side.

In any case, the loop would have to be much longer than 160 track pieces before it would become necessary to supply power to more than one spot on the track.  And, even if that would be necessary, the power could still come from one and the same controller, right?  One controller can deliver about 1 amp, enough for 4 motors, and I typically have 2-3 motors running on the loop.

#8 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 09:40 PM

Great review for the best Lego road crossing ever made.
In my collection I have one set for the 4,5 volts train layout, and another one for my 12 volts layout, with double size (as showed in the enclosed picture):

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This set is simply a must (like the 7750 lego set) for all the 12 volts' fans. :wub:

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#9 Brickaroo

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 09:38 AM

View PostLEGO Train 12 Volts, on 01 September 2010 - 09:40 PM, said:

Great review for the best Lego road crossing ever made.
In my collection I have one set for the 4,5 volts train layout, and another one for my 12 volts layout, with double size (as showed in the enclosed picture):

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This set is simply a must (like the 7750 lego set) for all the 12 volts' fans. :wub:


The 7750 is next on my hit-list. Once I've got the cash I'll buy a good condition set.

If only the 2 new sets on Bricklink weren't selling for over $7000. I refuse to buy new sets and not use them, so that would be a hiddeous waste of money.  :thumbdown:

Edited by Brickaroo, 02 September 2010 - 09:39 AM.

Assumption is the mother of all **** ups.
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#10 hoeij

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 01:21 PM

View PostBrickaroo, on 02 September 2010 - 09:38 AM, said:

The 7750 is next on my hit-list. Once I've got the cash I'll buy a good condition set.

If only the 2 new sets on Bricklink weren't selling for over $7000. I refuse to buy new sets and not use them, so that would be a hiddeous waste of money.  :thumbdown:
Those two are priced to make sure that they won't sell.  I think the best thing to do is to wait until someone lists it on eBay with a low opening price and no reserve price (the problem is that there are not many owners left that don't know that this is a high-priced item...).

The remote controlled crossing 7866 is really cool though, especially the lights.  I've been thinking to make a remote-controlled crossing with a 9V micromotor and the remote-controlled lego power functions. The point is not so much to save the money it would cost to buy 7866, the main point of doing it this way is to make the layout easier to set up with 1 less thing that needs to be connected with a long wire.  The problem is that this MOC wouldn't have the really neat lights that the 7866 set has.

#11 Helmantel

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 05:06 PM

I agree that it's really cool. I actually have two (one is not complete: the control tower is missing).

#12 Brickaroo

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 09:25 AM

View PostHelmantel, on 08 September 2010 - 05:06 PM, said:

I agree that it's really cool. I actually have two (one is not complete: the control tower is missing).

Get on Bricklink and start buying those parts to complete it. It's just not right unless it's complete.  :thumbup:
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#13 legotrainfan

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 06:58 PM

You're definitely a hero! There aren't many people around who would be courageous enough to open a 7866 MISB set! Though I got into my LEGO train hobby with the release of the first 9V sets, I did look at 12V stuff in LEGO catalogues very frequently before 9V came on the market. This level crossing was one of my favourite 12V sets, and I'd have loved if someone had given me a copy even though I had no 12V sets back then... and even today I have only got a 12V railway station and one crane waggon; I bought both in used condition many years after the disappearance of 12V on the market.

The electronic gems are interesting. You presented them well and made me look back at having missed the set with even more regret. I didn't even know that there is so much cabling under the platform and that it is hidden so ingeniously!
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#14 Zorbas

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 07:53 PM

Great review Brickaroo! Lots of photos, a great video and very nice and enjoyable commenting! The rating was funny! :laugh:

Great set too!
I can remember looking at this set in the LEGO catalogue back then wishing to acquire it (something that never happened). The functionality is at its best and although that it doesn't have too many elements to accompany it (trees, signs etc), it has that little "something" that makes you wanna have it.

Thanks again for the brilliant review!

P.S
I even miss the tan-light blue 12V background... :blush:
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#15 Brickaroo

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 01:24 PM

View PostBrickaroo, on 02 September 2010 - 09:38 AM, said:

The 7750 is next on my hit-list. Once I've got the cash I'll buy a good condition set.

If only the 2 new sets on Bricklink weren't selling for over $7000. I refuse to buy new sets and not use them, so that would be a hiddeous waste of money.  :thumbdown:

Eeeeeeeeyyyyyyyy! It took me 10 months but I finally have it!

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No this wasn't one of the MISB versions, I'm crazy but not THAT crazy. It was rather expensive nonetheless!

It's in brilliant condition, I'm very very happy to finally have this amazing set in my collection. I never realised it was only sold in Germany/Denmark and a few other countries in that area?

Edited by Brickaroo, 01 July 2011 - 02:17 PM.

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#16 TheBrickster

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 01:40 PM

Amazing find Brickaroo!  The box and train look mint. :wub:  I'm really envious of your entire collection (crossing and all).

On a side note, please resize your image to no larger than our 800x600 max EB image size.  Much appreciated.

She is a beauty though!

#17 Brickaroo

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 02:18 PM

View PostTheBrickster, on 01 July 2011 - 01:40 PM, said:

Amazing find Brickaroo!  The box and train look mint. :wub:  I'm really envious of your entire collection (crossing and all).

On a side note, please resize your image to no larger than our 800x600 max EB image size.  Much appreciated.

She is a beauty though!

Thanks mate.

Also I've updated the image to a thumbnail to avoid further blindings.  :tongue:
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#18 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 08:31 PM

I simply love this set!  :wub:
This road crossing is a masterpiece never more proposed ...my avatar comes from here!  :laugh:
Fantastic review brickaroo!  :thumbup:
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#19 halfpenguinhalflego

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 10:32 PM

This is what we need a power functions set to do, I love the way kids would be able to stop trains (or cars) and have all these working features, must of been a great era for LEGO train fans to have grown up with, greatreview and GREAT set!
:wub:
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#20 baard

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:06 PM

Great review.
I was looking through the boxes of a whole collection I bought second hand. And yes, the rail crossing is there along with the special parts and all. I have now got all 4 rail types (blue era, grey era, 9V and plastic bley), but have decided that 9V is the standard for the most part, but plastic bley will be used on loops that are designated PF trains only. Working on a mountain module, but haven´t figured out a good way to include the 12V rail system.
Thanks again,
Bård

#21 Sokratesz

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 10:44 AM

Old thread, but a nice review for a great set. I got one a few weeks ago for a really good price and it's comlete and working dandy :)

View Posthalfpenguinhalflego, on 12 July 2011 - 10:32 PM, said:

This is what we need a power functions set to do, I love the way kids would be able to stop trains (or cars) and have all these working features, must of been a great era for LEGO train fans to have grown up with, greatreview and GREAT set!
:wub:

They'd need to release PF 'S' motors or PF servo's first :)

- Sok.

Edited by Sokratesz, 13 July 2011 - 10:46 AM.




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